July 25th, 2022

Samish Elder Laura Edwards: 1983

This portrait was taken on September 24, 1983 at the dedication ceremony of the “Maiden of Deception Pass” story pole at Rosario Beach. I was commissioned by tribal leader Ken Hansen of Anacortes to photograph the event, attended by several dozen Samish tribal members including elder Laura Edwards. According to Leslie Eastwood, “Laura was the widow of Alfred Edwards, who was the late Chief/Chairman of the Samish Tribe. He signed my father’s enrollment card in the late 1950s.” Non-native woodcarver Tracy Powell of Fidalgo Island spent many hours with Edwards learning the story of the Maiden. Hansen played the key role in regaining federal recognition of the Samish Tribe after they were dropped from the Bureau of Indian Affairs list of tribal nations in 1969. The tribe regained recognition in 1996. Edwards and Hansen have since died. For more information about the Samish Indian Nation, click on the link below:

Steve Berentson

About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

Photos are available for use as prints and online use. Please contact me for pricing.

$12 for 5 X 7 inch archival print, mailing included.

All Photos are © Steve Berentson. All rights reserved.

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